Arnott Eye Associates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Arnott Eye Associates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Arnott Eye Associates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

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52 | ABSOLUTE IMAGE
The three-pronged approach we
touched on earlier is quite simply
being aware of which products and
services our clients want. Co-creating
additional services, using a panel of
loyal consumers to work with us to
establish the very real, tangible benefits
from new concepts, is a common-
sense approach. Having inspiring ideas
is pointless if we do not listen and take
guidance from the very people who
need it: our clients.
Our next investment in advanced
machine technology will be one
that has been put through rigorous
research tests, is reliable, has longevity
and has not been purchased on the
back of an exhaustive promotional
campaign. Time and time again, we
have witnessed clinics investing in
branded facial and body technology,
only for this costly machinery to be left
to collect dust at best and lose client
confidence at worst.
The need for regulation
One of the primary challenges our
industry still faces is a lack of regulation.
For years, talk has circulated of an
incoming, standardised set of policies,
which have yet to materialise. The
Keogh Review in 2014 outlined detailed
practices of how the industry should
be policed. Although presented to the
government, it was turned down due
to the sheer cost ofimplementation.
The idea of effective regulation
in order to filter out unqualified
practitioners and subsequently improve
overall industry standards is well
overdue. Basic regulatory policies
for training practitioners are also
questionable. This alone has led me
to seriously consider working with a
regulatory body to lay down a basic
protocol of expected minimum criteria
underpinned by standardised policies
– with the aim of reducing the amount
of corrective work we are witnessing at
an alarming rate.
We are far from sitting on our laurels.
We are grateful that our clients
can influence our future business
investments by simply continuing to
talk with us as we take the time to
listen. Social networks now dictate the
wants and needs of our clients, and
of course they rightly expect a more
personalised service. Why then should
they not be given the opportunity to
influence the services and products
they require? This is exactly what
we have built our reputation on
and what we intend to keep doing.
Quite simply, we will continue to
listen and listen very carefully: it is
what our clients rightly expect and
absolutelydeserve.
Our client
loyalty is
staggering
Jill Tait delivering
treatment
53ARNOTT EYE ASSOCIATES |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
The facade of the Optegra Eye
Hospital at 25 Queen Anne
Street, new home of Arnott Eye
Associates
Some of the high-tech
diagnostic equipment at
Arnott Eye Associates
Arnott Eye Associates, now part of Optegra Eye Health
Care, was started as the Arnott Eye Centre by Eric Arnott
FRCS in 1993. He was a world-renowned eye surgeon
who in 1973 brought to Europe the world’s first minimally
invasive surgical procedure in the modern era. The operation
was called phacoemulsification, and today it is used all over the
world to perform cataract surgery. Eric was a pioneer also in the
design of intraocular lenses for use with this surgery. Former
Director Richard Packard tells
TheParliamentary Review
more.
When Eric started the Arnott Eye Centre, the object was to bring together a group
of ophthalmic consultants with different subspecialties so that problems associated
with different parts of the eye could be treated by experts in that field. In the
process of doing this, Eric developed a worldwide reputation for excellence which
remains to this day.
The beginning
My association with Eric Arnott goes back to 1978, when I joined him at Charing Cross
Hospital as his senior registrar. It was there that I learnt to perform phacoemulsification
ten or more years before almost all of my contemporaries. I have now lectured on
phacoemulsification and lens implantation cataract surgery in 61 countries.
In 1996, with the Arnott Eye Centre well established, Eric was interested in securing
his legacy. He and I were on a boat going up the Nile at a conference called
“Phacowith the pharaohs”. One evening Eric and his wife Veronica asked me to
FACTS ABOUT
ARNOTT EYE ASSOCIATES
»Senior Consultant: Richard
Packard
»Established in 1993
»Based in London
»Services: Comprehensive
ophthalmology
»No. of employees: 18,
including 12 consultants, 3
optometrists and technicians
and 3 administrative and back
office staff
»Richard Packard is a past
chair of the Association of
Ophthalmologists UK
Arnott Eye Associates
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THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
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54 | ARNOTT EYE ASSOCIATES
have a drink with them at the stern of
the boat. Over a glass of rather awful
Egyptian wine, they asked me to take
over the practice when Eric turned 70
in 1999.
A new boss
In May 1999, after a period of
introduction to the patients, I succeeded
to the Arnott Eye Centre in Harley
Street. Unlike many premises in the
medical district in and around Harley
Street, this was in a relatively new
building, and Eric had gutted the space
to create four consulting rooms, a
treatment room, two diagnostic rooms,
a waiting room and twooffices.
The practice was run along American
lines, with optometrists and technicians
helping to prepare the patients for
the consultant. This meant that the
relevant tests and diagnostics had
been done in many cases, so that the
time spent with the consultant could
be more focused and relevant to the
individual patient’s needs.
After the takeover, the existing
consultants felt that a name change
was appropriate, so the practice
became Arnott Eye Associates.
Thiswas to reflect the fact that
although I owned the practice, it was
very much a joint effort in terms of
providing medical excellence in our
chosen subspecialties. The number
of consultants gradually grew, and
we were able to deal with diseases
of the front and back of the eye,
tear duct and oculoplastic issues,
and eye diseases in children. Another
positive aspect was the availability
of emergency services due to the
premises being staffed every day of
the week. This was and remains very
popular with GPs all over London.
Due to Eric Arnott’s worldwide
reputation, we were able to build a
client base – both embassy-referred
and private patients – from much
of the Middle East, west Africa,
India, Pakistan and southern Europe.
Sometimes the waiting room looked
like a branch of the United Nations.
We all got very good at working
through interpreters too. This diverse
mix of patients has continued,
together with a strong UK-wide
patient population. Since its opening,
the Arnott in its various iterations has
treated well over 70,000 patients.
Time for another change
In 2017, when I reached 70, I
felt it was time to hand over the
management reins, although I did
not want to retire per se. Optegra Eye
Health Care, which owns eye hospitals
and clinics all over Europe, bought
Arnott Eye Associates in September
2017 and the next phase of the story
began. Optegra wanted to further
expand their offering in central
London, where they provide vision
correction with laser and intraocular
lenses as well as comprehensive
ophthalmology. We fitted the bill.
The facility in Queen Anne Street
that Optegra ran as their flagship eye
hospital in London was just around the
corner from the oldArnottpremises.
Itmade a large difference: when
Optegra opened the Optegra Eye
Hospital London in 2015, the only
part of the building that had been
left intact was the old 19th-century
The Arnott Eye
Associates reception area
Since its
opening, the
Arnott in its
various
iterations has
treated well
over 70,000
patients
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | ARNOTT EYE ASSOCIATES
have a drink with them at the stern of
the boat. Over a glass of rather awful
Egyptian wine, they asked me to take
over the practice when Eric turned 70
in 1999.
A new boss
In May 1999, after a period of
introduction to the patients, I succeeded
to the Arnott Eye Centre in Harley
Street. Unlike many premises in the
medical district in and around Harley
Street, this was in a relatively new
building, and Eric had gutted the space
to create four consulting rooms, a
treatment room, two diagnostic rooms,
a waiting room and twooffices.
The practice was run along American
lines, with optometrists and technicians
helping to prepare the patients for
the consultant. This meant that the
relevant tests and diagnostics had
been done in many cases, so that the
time spent with the consultant could
be more focused and relevant to the
individual patient’s needs.
After the takeover, the existing
consultants felt that a name change
was appropriate, so the practice
became Arnott Eye Associates.
Thiswas to reflect the fact that
although I owned the practice, it was
very much a joint effort in terms of
providing medical excellence in our
chosen subspecialties. The number
of consultants gradually grew, and
we were able to deal with diseases
of the front and back of the eye,
tear duct and oculoplastic issues,
and eye diseases in children. Another
positive aspect was the availability
of emergency services due to the
premises being staffed every day of
the week. This was and remains very
popular with GPs all over London.
Due to Eric Arnott’s worldwide
reputation, we were able to build a
client base – both embassy-referred
and private patients – from much
of the Middle East, west Africa,
India, Pakistan and southern Europe.
Sometimes the waiting room looked
like a branch of the United Nations.
We all got very good at working
through interpreters too. This diverse
mix of patients has continued,
together with a strong UK-wide
patient population. Since its opening,
the Arnott in its various iterations has
treated well over 70,000 patients.
Time for another change
In 2017, when I reached 70, I
felt it was time to hand over the
management reins, although I did
not want to retire per se. Optegra Eye
Health Care, which owns eye hospitals
and clinics all over Europe, bought
Arnott Eye Associates in September
2017 and the next phase of the story
began. Optegra wanted to further
expand their offering in central
London, where they provide vision
correction with laser and intraocular
lenses as well as comprehensive
ophthalmology. We fitted the bill.
The facility in Queen Anne Street
that Optegra ran as their flagship eye
hospital in London was just around the
corner from the oldArnottpremises.
Itmade a large difference: when
Optegra opened the Optegra Eye
Hospital London in 2015, the only
part of the building that had been
left intact was the old 19th-century
The Arnott Eye
Associates reception area
Since its
opening, the
Arnott in its
various
iterations has
treated well
over 70,000
patients
55ARNOTT EYE ASSOCIATES |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
façade. Behind this, they had
fashioned a brand-new eye hospital.
In the basement was a laser refractive
suite, above which were two floors of
outpatient consulting rooms, treatment
rooms and diagnostic facilities. Above
that were two fully equipped operating
theatres in which most eye surgery
could be performed. The patient
rooms were on the next floor and
administration above that.
The whole thing is truly impressive
and has drawn very positive comments
from the patients who had known
the previous premises. Since moving
across to Optegra, we have been
joined by a number of high-quality and
enthusiastic colleagues, of whom Eric
would be proud.
What the future holds
What does the future of Arnott Eye
Associates look like? As I continue to
embed Arnott into Optegra, we are
focused on continuing to serve our
referrers’ needs, and we are about to
begin some exciting new initiatives.
These include cataract surgery,
leading to the potential for spectacle
independence; treatments for dry eye
disease, which – with increasing screen,
tablet and phone use – has become
an epidemic; and lumps and bumps
around the eye. We will of course
continue to have retinal, glaucoma and
oculoplastic specialists on the team. We
will continue to service our overseas
patient base as before.
One increasing challenge for UK
patients who have private insurance
is being able to choose the consultant
and the hospital. The restrictions most
insurers have now built into their
policies mean that patients are only
permitted to see consultants and go to
hospitals chosen by the insurer. Very
often, this means that patients can
access only those who charge the least,
who are generally less experienced
consultants. We see this as a disservice
to patients, who are entitled to the
very best treatment.
We are confident we can offset this
challenge given our reputation built up
over many decades of excellent service,
combined with the stunning new
five-star facilities from which we work
– not to mention Optegra’s investment
in the very latest technology and high-
quality ophthalmic equipment.We
are in a strong position to treat the
A to Z of eye health. The future is
bright and exciting for our consultants
and our patients, wherever they may
comefrom.
We have been
joined by a
number of
high-quality
and
enthusiastic
colleagues
Richard Packard’s consulting room
showing some of his awards
Standard consulting room with a
view of Queen Anne Street

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This article was sponsored by Arnott Eye Associates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.